Friday, 9 March 2012

Who is to live and who to die?

So okay – in my Sefuty Chronicles’ world I trashed the planet and caused devastating wars over diminishing resources!  I divided the survivors into three.

 1)      Those who made it into purpose built cities before the doors shut (for ever). 
2)    Those who hid behind rings of land mines on the promise that they would be rescued soon! (50 years) 
3)     Those who managed neither and were left to survive or not by their own ways.

I have not written about the whole world, other countries are mentioned but these Tales are a localized affair set in a locale I know reasonably well, and so some solutions may not ring likely to other nations.  Bear with me, the problems are still the same.

Whether or not the climate change disaster was caused by mankind or by natural changes matters not when the world is home to billions of our own kind.  We don’t really care if the ancient life forms millions of years ago went through the same and became extinct.  Now it us and it is  personal.  9 billion die before my Tales begin as one old man put it

‘By the time it was finished, the victors of the world stood on a mound of billions. We committed the greatest genocide of all time.  To save ourselves we killed them all.’

He was by anyone’s standards a good man before the Wars, and he struggled to do good after the Wars.  But things had changed. 

The next problem I had with this new world I was inventing was by how much would our nature change when the chips were truly down. How much does our civilized code depend on the basic security of food, health and shelter. Does the fact that the fall from our pampered world to bare basics would be huge make any difference to that code.

Each of my groups of survivors would need to tackle their changed lifestyles in different ways and this took much pondered time.  Studying historical events, anthropological theories, listening to people and tossing the mix together.  Testing my ideas.  I enjoyed it and what does that say I wonder?!

Population Control
Food Security
Law and Order

All these are the matter for heated debate and none more so than population control.  You scoff, why is it needed if the worlds population has crashed to Neolithic numbers? Well in the first two books of the Chronicles the City folk have no land to grow food, the mined areas have no room for expansion. Population control and food security walked hand in hand.

Population control is an emotive subject, complete with a dark history of coercion and eugenics, which has rendered the management of it almost a taboo subject.  There have been world summits over the years.  Many strands mooted as to how best manage the worlds rapidly climbing population little has happened, because we are scared of the subject. (a subject for another day) 

In my diminished world some of the problems remain. 

*  If there is not enough food or water who decides on who has the right to it?

*  If survival depends on the co-operation of the many what place is there for the ones who cannot/will not contribute?

*  If survival depends on the next generation who is to be allowed the right to produce that generation?

*  If medical expertise has vanished who is to be saved and who not?

*  Do people make their own rules or try and follow the old rules?    

You can see some potential trouble brewing in these questions. I wandered into murky depths and had to tease out some moral and ethical as well as practical solutions. 


  1. Quite interesting points you bring up. Not sure if I'd like to see the day we'd have to face the choices the characters had to face.

  2. they do get grim as one goes into them! some of the reading around the ethics were sobering